Pakistan is keen to enhance and strengthen bilateral relations with South Korea to maximize investment opportunities in various sectors, reports WealthPK.
Speaking at the Pakistan-South Korea Infrastructure Business Forum, Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said the level of trade between the two countries was relatively low and needed to be increased to further bolster economic ties in future.
“South Korean companies should take advantage of Pakistan's investment opportunities in various sectors, including infrastructure, health, energy, trade, and tourism, by launching joint ventures and development projects on public-private partnership basis,’’ said the minister.
South Korean Ambassador Suh Sangpyo emphasized that there was enormous potential for bilateral trade and investment which needed to be exploited by both countries and they should take necessary steps for the signing of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
According to Sohail Nisar, Chairman of Pakistan-Korea Business Council of FPCCI, South Korea, the world’s ninth largest economy, is a reliable and strong partner of Pakistan. Over the past 60 years, South Korea has increased its GDP by 410 folds. Very few countries have posted such an enormous and persistent economic growth.
“The South Korean government is interested in investing at least $1 billion in Pakistan. There are many benefits to be gained for the two economies if they make efforts to improve bilateral trade in accordance with their true potential,” Suh Sangpyo said.
Talking to WealthPK, Senior Executive Officer of FPCCI Mehreen Razzak said, “Pakistan has the untapped potential for diversifying its economy and becoming more integrated with the global economy. Instead of concentrating on its geostrategic location, Pakistan needs to push up trade, economic, and investment relations through people-to-people contacts, expert to expert contacts. There is a need to create favourable conditions for FDI and connect B2B via organizations and business associations,” she added.
“South Korea is ranked among the world’s most export-oriented large economies. Its rapid industrialization and technological advancement make it one of the most important countries in the region for a free trade agreement because the country's economic growth and industrialization are comparatively higher than Pakistan.” she said.
“On the contrary, in Pakistan – a semi-industrialized country – agriculture and manufacturing are the two major export sectors, while heavy manufacturing and petroleum products are the two major import sectors. To satisfy domestic demand and earn from exports, Pakistan needs investment in heavy industry products. Additionally, export of agricultural products and IT services can assist Pakistan in stabilizing its depreciating currency,” Mehreen said.
“Pakistan should take concrete steps to remove trade and investment bottlenecks and ensure easy tariff structures in order to enhance bilateral economic cooperation and ease of doing business. The country should introduce investment-friendly policies and provide all possible support for local and foreign investors in investing in all sectors of the national economy,” she suggested.
According to COMTRADE, Pakistan imported $1.5 billion worth of South Korean products in 2021, while the exports were worth $400 only.
Credit: Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk